Selling your company at interview

In this increasingly competitive market, companies must learn to focus as much attention on their employer branding as they would the branding of their company’s products and services. Selling the job, the team and the company is really about selling your brand promise – the functional (we pay well) as well as the intangible (we’re passionate about our work) dimensions. After all, the best candidates are vetting employers, as much as being vetted by them.

In this guide, we explore some of the most effective ways to sell your company during the interview process; giving you the best chance of attracting the best candidates.

Know your customer

It’s essential to gain a clear understanding of both your candidate’s needs and a picture of what your competition is offering. Without this information, it’s extremely difficult to know how to position your company and its unique attributes.

It’s important to ask candidates where else they are interviewing - and what stage they are at – so that you can identify your competition and understand what timescales you are working to. It will also give you a good idea of how the candidate is regarded in terms of their level, status, and how they see themselves; whilst determining what elements of your own role and organisation you need to sell. For example, if you’re up against a blue chip company, you may need to increase the starting salary.

This information may also help you to ascertain whether a candidate’s job search is consistent, or whether they are ‘blanket bombing’ the market. After all, understanding your candidate’s motives for a seeking a new job is the one of the most important things you can learn from the interview process. It will enable you to sell your company to them and will go a long way towards determining whether or not the candidate is right for the opportunity. 

Know your product, its brand and its strengths

In an increasingly brand conscious world, the strongest candidates on today’s market are more likely than ever to base a job acceptance or rejection on the kudos of a company’s brand.

Brands act as psychological triggers to candidates of every level: graduates in particular target strong employer brands. A company with a great reputation is thought to be more likely to provide great training, and offers a stamp of credibility which can help a candidate throughout their career.

If your brand identity falls behind that of the competition, you’ll have to be more imaginative in the way that you sell your company; so pay more attention to the nature of the role, the dynamism of the team, or the clearly defined career path you can offer.

However, if you want to keep up with your competitors, there are practical steps that you can take to enhance the reputation of your company; for example, submitting your company for all manner of industry awards can help to strengthen your brand presence. 

Talent sells

Elevating your company into the ‘employer of choice’ category - where strong candidates gravitate naturally - creates a self-fulfilling promise: the best talent always goes there, because that’s where the best talent is.

But in order to achieve that status, you need the right people in the first place; so make sure you understand what the people you want desire, and offer it to them. The new generation of graduates is not shy about asking companies what they can do for them; so the onus on the interviewer to sell their organisation has never been so strong.

Above all, it’s imperative to understand the motivation behind every candidate’s career decision. Only then can you sell the job, your team and your company in the best way.